The establishment of a VET Professional Association in Australia is not new in concept and much research and debate has taken place over the past decade – without materialisation. Establishing effective workforce development for vocational education and training is critical to the reputation of the sector; industry and employers confidence in the value of a qualification; and individual learners and employees gaining the skills to effectively perform in the workforce. A strong and credible national VET professional association would provide greater confidence in training outcomes and the integrity of vocational qualifications. The VET sector should be leading the way in development and implementation of an effective workforce development for its own.
The establishment of a VET Professional Association will provide a representative body for all VET practitioners and focus on aspirational standards to attract, retain and recognise highly skilled professionals – leading to quality education and training outcomes now and in the future. There is widespread, national endorsement for the development of a national VET Professional Association and support from individuals is strong. Further investment is still required – but investment will have ongoing return and benefits through the development of Australia’s national workforce and economy. It is important to note that the purpose of a Professional VET Association is not to supplicate the role or services of other bodies, but instead to add value to members’ individual and collective endeavours, and play a unique role in building the strength a quality of the education and training system in Australia.
VETnetwork Australia has been successful in gaining funding to further explore the viability of a VET Professional Association in Australia and build an in-depth business case for future enactment.